StarDate Online logoContact StarDate | About StarDate | Friends of McDonald | Sign up for SkyTips
Black Holes Encyclopedia
Articles

Black Hole News Archive

2007

NASA Announces Discovery of Assault by a Black Hole
A gigantic "particle beam" from a supermassive black hole in the center of a spiral galaxy is ramming into a smaller companion galaxy about 20,000 light-years away. The smaller galaxy deflects and disperses part of the beam, which could damage any planets it encounters, but also may trigger the birth of new stars by squeezing together clouds of gas and dust.

NASA - December 18, 2007

Hefty Black Hole Discovered in Neighbor Galaxy
A black hole in a neighboring galaxy is the heftiest member of its class -- black holes that formed from the collapse of giant stars. It's about twice as massive as any other black hole of that type yet discovered. What's more, the star that gave birth to the black hole would have been one of the most massive in the universe, and its death could have been extraordinarily bright and violent.

Chandra X-ray Center - October 17, 2007

Astronomers Search for Quasars with a 'Kick'
A runaway black hole barreling out of a galaxy at more than two billion miles per hour? Evidence of a quick getaway in the aftermath of a massive intergalactic collision? That's just what astronomers Erin Bonning of the Paris Observatory and Gregory Shields and Sarah Salviander of The University of Texas at Austin have been searching for.

McDonald Observatory News - May 29, 2007

Escaping Oblivion
The Milky Way's "flickering" black hole -- a StarDate video transcript.

StarDate - May 15, 2007

Gamma-ray outburst may signal new way to make black holes
Black holes are the darkest objects in the universe because their gravity is so strong that not even light can escape from them. Yet the birth of a black hole may create one of the brightest objects in the universe, known as a gamma-ray burst.

StarDate magazine - March 1, 2007

Triple-Quasar System Faces Scrambled Future
A trio of quasars is beginning a gravitational dance that should hasten the merger of two of their supermassive black holes and kick the third out on a high-speed journey through intergalactic space, according to two teams of astronomers.

Stardate magazine - March 1, 2007

2006

Black Holes May Shut Down Starbirth in Hearts of Galaxies
The supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies are already known as star destroyers, because they pull apart and consume any stars that pass too close. But a recent study suggests that the black holes could destroy stars even before they have a chance to form.

StarDate magazine - November 1, 2006

Magnetism Helps Power Black Hole
Although what’s inside black holes remains a mystery, superheated matter on the verge of being swallowed radiates some clues about the nature of its captor.

StarDate magazine - September 1, 2006

NASA's Chandra Finds Black Holes Are 'Green'
Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory have measured the efficiency of black hole energy-production and have discovered that black holes are the most fuel efficient "engines" in the universe.

NASA - April 24, 2006

Study Finds Two Supermassive Black Holes Spiraling Toward Collision
A new study by astronomers at the University of Virginia, Bonn University and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides further evidence that black holes sometimes merge and form supermassive black holes and that coupled black holes exist.

University of Virginia News - April 6, 2006

Matter May Get Reprieve from Milky Way's Black Hole
A journey into a black hole is a one-way trip to oblivion: Matter and energy fall in, but they can't come back out. But astronomers say that some of the material that nears the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy appears to get a last-second reprieve: It blasts out into space just before it would disappear forever.

StarDate magazine - January 11, 2006

Gas Follows 'Death Spiral' Toward Giant Black Hole
High-speed whorls of gas are spiraling into a supermassive black hole at the center of a large galaxy like water spiraling down a bathtub drain, according to an international team of astronomers.

StarDate Online - January 9, 2006

2005

Astronomers Get Closest Look Yet At Milky Way's Mysterious Core
Using a planet-wide array of radio telescopes, astronomers have come closer than ever to measuring the size of the suspected black hole at the center of the Milky Way. They determined that a source of radio waves in the galaxy's core is no larger than the distance between Earth and the Sun. The radio waves probably come from a ring of material that encircles the black hole.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory - November 2, 2005

Blue Stars Confirm Black Hole
A disk of hot young stars around the core of the Andromeda galaxy provides additional proof that a supermassive black hole inhabits the core, astronomers say. How such a disk could form in the black hole's sphere of gravitational influence poses something of a mystery, however.

See also: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/releases/2005/26/full

McDonald Observatory - September 20, 2005

Multiple Eruptions Seconds After Birth
Black hole surprise: An orbiting NASA telescope has discovered that bright "jets" of particles squirted into space from the poles of a newborn black hole may involve a series of big explosions, not just one. Each of them is accompanied by an outburst of gamma rays, the most powerful form of energy.

Space.com - August 23, 2005

Black Hole Forges Invisible Bubble
Astronomers may have to revise their notion of how much energy stellar-mass black holes put back into the space around them after discovering a huge invisible bubble of energetic gas surrounding the black hole known as Cygnus X-1.

Space.com - August 16, 2005

Milky Way's Quiet Black Hole Flared in Past
Oliver Cromwell had Charles I beheaded, toppling the British monarchy. An outbreak of plague shut down Cambridge University, leaving 22-year-old student Isaac Newton to return home and spend his leisure hours creating, among other things, the theory of gravity. And had they existed then, space-borne gamma-ray telescopes would have seen the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy flare to life.

StarDate - May 1, 2005

2004

Black Hole Paradox Possibly Solved
Ohio State University physicists say they have settled a famous 1997 bet among fellow physicists Stephen Hawking, Kip Thorne, and John Preskill by solving the so-called black hole information paradox.

StarDate - May 1, 2004

X-Ray 'Flicker' May Pinpoint Medium-Sized Black Hole
A steady "flickering" in the X-ray energy from a distant black hole suggests that it is about 10,000 times the mass of the Sun, making it one of the best known candidates for a new class of black holes.

StarDate - May 1, 2004

2003

Lining Up an Explanation
Serendipitous observations of gamma-ray burst suggest magnetic field provides the juice

StarDate - September 1, 2003

Stars and Black Holes Form Simultaneously in Early Galaxies
A giant cosmic lens has allowed astronomers to peer deeply into a quasar 12 billion light-years from Earth, giving them insight into the workings of the quasar's host galaxy at a time when the universe was only 15 percent of its present age.

StarDate - July 1, 2003

Blazing Toward Darkness
Two different mechanisms for the birth of black holes may produce outbursts of energy visible across billions of light-years, according to an international team of astronomers.

StarDate - May 1, 2003

2001

Scientists Look into Milky Way Core
A team of astronomers led by Andrea Ghez at UCLA has pinpointed the location of Sagittarius A* with the greatest accuracy to date by observing three stars that orbit it. Ghez and colleagues collected infrared images of the Milky Way's core over a four-year period. The positions of the stars nearest Sagittarius A* change significantly in only a few years, implying that they orbit a compact, massive body.

BBC News - September 20, 2001